Iron-treated NiO as a highly transparent p-type protection layer for efficient Si-based photoanodes

Bastian Mei, Anastasia A. Permyakova, Rasmus Frydendal, Dowon Bae, Thomas Pedersen, Paolo Malacrida, Ole Hansen, Ifan E. L. Stephens, Peter C. K. Vesborg, Brian Seger, Ib Chorkendorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sputter deposition of 50 nm thick NiO films on p+-n-Si and subsequent treatment in an Fe-containing electrolyte yielded highly transparent photoanodes capable of water oxidation (OER) in alkaline media (1 M KOH) with high efficiency and stability. The Fe treatment of NiO thin films enabled Si-based photoanode assemblies to obtain a current density of 10 mA/cm2 (requirement for >10% efficient devices) at 1.15 V versus RHE (reversible hydrogen electrode) under red-light (38.6 mW/cm2) irradiation. Thus, the photoanodes were harvesting ∼80 mV of free energy (voltage), which places them among the best-performing Si-based photoanodes in alkaline media. The stability was proven by chronoamperometry at 1.3 V versus RHE for 300 h. Furthermore, measurements with electrochemical quartz crystal microbalances coupled with ICP-MS showed minor corrosion under dark operation. Extrapolation of the corrosion rate showed stability for more than 2000 days of continuous operation. Therefore, protection by Fe-treated NiO films is a promising strategy to achieve highly efficient and stable photoanodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3456-3461
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Volume5
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • electrochemical quartz crystal microbalance
  • oxygen evolution reaction (OER)
  • photoelectrochemical water splitting
  • stability
  • thin film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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